Offer realistic proposals I read Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe’s letter about his ideas to amp up our local economy (“Igniting the Tampa Bay region,” Letter of the Day, March 31). First, I am always skeptical about economic zones since it restricts potential new businesses to where we want them to locate, not necessarily where they may want to be. Perhaps they might feel Brandon or Citrus Park is better suited to their needs. Also, there was a distinct push for light rail to be built in order to attract new companies, though this has never been high on the list of factors they find important.
What really concerns me is the giddiness Sharpe uses to express his plan, which will take a lot of money from different sources. The same day of his letter, the Tribune had a great article detailing on a state level how much of our tax money had been misspent by giving breaks to companies that either failed outright or did not produce the jobs they had planned in exchange for the incentive.
The people of this county need our elected officials to offer realistic proposals and not act like some high roller in Vegas with our tax dollars.
Finally, my question to Sharpe and every elected official is this: With this request for additional funds, are you able to guarantee that all fraud, waste and abuse have been eliminated? If not, get that money before you ask us for any more.
Sinking lifeboat I enjoyed a bitter chuckle over the irony of Jeff Johnson’s column on the “Chained CPI” (“Taking big bite out of Social Security, vets’ benefits,” Views, March 31). His organization, the AARP, supported Obamacare, and we who opposed that boondoggle warned that something like the Chained CPI would be the result. His organization forgot that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Somebody must pay, and that somebody would be those on Social Security and Medicare, and veterans. Sure enough, that is what is happening.
We who opposed Obamacare and similar programs feel like we were in a sinking lifeboat. Our suggestion was that we should all start to bail. AARP and the rest of the liberal/progressives insisted that we need only drill a few holes in the bottom to let the water out. Well, Jeff, your side won. You got what you voted for, the holes have been drilled and the lifeboat is now sure to sink. Our consultation is that the world is just (sort of), and you and the AARP will drown with the rest of us.
Charles Palmer Jr.
Accountability for tax fraud The article on tax fraud in Monday’s Tribune highlighted a problem that has been going on for several years, but what isn’t reported is also disgraceful. What hasn’t been reported is the absolute arrogance and ineptitude on the part of the IRS, the Treasury Department and the present administration in taking responsibility for this assault on the American taxpayers’ pocketbook. The victims of identity theft who have to wait for their individual cases to be resolved to get a return are not the only victims. All taxpayers are victims because, collectively, that is all our money, not the government’s. I have not heard of anyone in any of these agencies being taken to task showing any sense of urgency to address the problem. It is criminal that our local police chief, Jane Castor, had to raise the red flag on this issue. It’s as if no one in the federal government cares. I guess that’s because all they have to do is manufacture a new tax or increase existing tax rates to cover the shortfall. I would not be surprised if the current director of the IRS gets some glowing award or some meritorious certificate espousing the great job he did when he is ultimately replaced, which I hope is soon. Who is to blame for this outrage? I know who I hold responsible.